FROM SHAMEFUL TO SACRED SERIES
1: Creating a ritualized container of rest
The first tip for reclaiming the wild power of your womb:
Create a container of rest at menstruation
(+ a guided rest ritual below)
This container is a sacred space, and it can look, feel + smell exactly how you would like it to. What do I mean by creating a ‘container?’
I mean create s p a c e around your bleed: drop the do-to list (as far as is possible), prepare some nourishing foods, clear the calendar, light the incense…do whatever you need to do to cultivate your space + put down the outer world, temporarily. You are stepping into the art of space-holding for yourself: to be present and fully open to the messages of your inner world. Imagine you are holding space for a dear friend: how might you do that? Would you listen when they spoke? Would you care about how they were feeling?
Would you be kind? Would you embrace all of them?
A space-holder is both creator and protector of the space. You’ve created this sacred space and now it is your duty to hold it by ensuring that all of the boundaries are set and secure. For me, this often means letting the others in my household know that I’ll be going into my yoga space (or straight to bed) to be on my own (hint hint: don’t bother me). As someone who works online and spends a lot of time answering texts and emails, this also means I am turning my phone on airplane mode, or at least turning all notifications off so that I know my space will be undisturbed.
This container you hold for yourself means you are acknowledging that, while you bleed, you are entering a highly sensitized state of awareness, distinct from the everyday state, and you are choosing to honour that by paying close attention to the messages that come through for you, both from your body + perhaps from a more ethereal place.
Intuition doesn’t speak loudly, so space is necessary to hear it.
This container also means you are consciously choosing to listen in to your body, and you will create the space for her to be as she needs to be, to rest as she needs to rest, and to feel how she needs to feel in this bleedtime.
Intuition may whisper, but the body’s calls can sometimes get really loud.
Whether the inner happenings are quiet or loud,
if you have space, you can listen.
While through the rest of the cycle we may be diving into projects and checking off our to-do lists, in the inner wintertime we can acknowledge the sacredness of menstruation simply by shifting gears from doing into being, from outward action to inner presence.
For some, this space-holding in which you are welcome to rest may be just what you need to ease menstrual cramps, lower back pain, mental/emotional distress, etc., as these are often symptoms of system overload and lack of sufficient rest throughout the whole cycle; we can help to make up some of our rest deficiency in our inner winter, as our body is in the process of releasing and restoring — a natural retreat space.
Now, what if a luxurious day of rest and retreat is not an option for you…say, you work in an office and they are expecting you to be present. You can still create sacred space for yourself even while performing your everyday tasks.
Before rushing off into your busy day, choose to pause and be still, to close your eyes and listen in for just a few moments. Maybe place your hands over your womb space and send some breath down into your pelvis, letting yourself know that you acknowledge that you are in a highly sensitized state, and you will honour this by taking a moment to close your eyes when you need, and move slowly as you need. Sometimes, the simple boundary of our eyelids closing can be enough to create a little container of sweet presence in which we feel seen and respected. Your wintery energy, when embraced, can even add a naturally arising magical and mystical tone to your interactions and into performing your tasks. It’s very interesting to bring mindfulness to how we relate to others and our regular routines while in the inner winter: do you sense yourself a bit softer? A bit slower + more languid? More attuned to the unseen forces in the space, like the emotions of others, the quality of energy in the room?
Remember, you can always hold space for yourself by simply pausing to close your eyelids and take a breath.
There are no rules, no regulations…no way to create or be in your space wrong, because it is yours, and because ultimately there is nothing special that needs to be done.
This is how we transform our cycle from a source of shame to a connection with the sacred: by simply holding space for ourselves to acknowledge the shift, exactly how it is, and how you are, now.
All my Love,